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World of Crystals > The Canon of Changes > The Canon of Changes... 3

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The Canon of Changes... 3

By Scen

One month after dispatching his minions in pursuit of pieces of the prophecy, one of Sung Chiang's guardians materialized in the Deft One's inner sanctum. He reported that one of the minions, Sho, had been killed while fulfilling his task. Following close behind the guardian was the cricket that the Deft One had sent along with Sho; it bounded up the dais and onto the topmost of Sung Chiang's shoulders, and whispered in the God's ear the specific details of how and where Sho had met his end.

Sung Chiang was about to dispatch a new minion to replace the one that had been slain, when the same guardian returned and announced the return of Mu, reportedly with a successfully retrieved piece of prophecy.

Sung Chiang bade the guardian show in the minion. Moments later, Mu -- attired in clothes of silk with golden trim (and a curious triangular emblem emblazoned on the belt buckle) -- strode confidently into the throne room and kneeled before the God of Thieves.

Sung Chiang regarded Mu thoughtfully. "You have returned successful?"

"I have," Mu said. "I have been to a world that the natives call 'The World of Light.' It is so named because of some silly belief in a mystical 'Golden Power' that their race is said to possess. The natives call themselves 'Hylia,' and I have learned the basics of their speech and customs."

"Intriguing," Sung Chiang said. "All of this in one month?"

"My skill flows only from the fount of your divine talent, master," Mu replied.

Sung Chiang smiled. "What of the prophecy?"

Mu drew from his silk Hylian fineries a book with a green-dyed cover, and set it on the floor. "My cricket whispered to me of a tome penned by an ancient Hylian scholar, used as a magical cipher for the translation of languages. The book takes its name for the province where I discovered it, Mudora. I decided to first capture this, for the use of our servant Genruo."

"Most wise," Sung Chiang said.

"After aquiring the Book of Mudora, I was next directed to the local cathedral. In the catacombs I quested for many long, arduous hours -- collecting keys, and compasses, and maps. I solved tedious puzzles, avoided deadly traps. The travail I undertook in your name, master, I would not have done for any other. The ultimate goal was a series of preserved scrolls penned by a scribe called Sahasrala. My cricket and I are confident that he is the prophet whose writings we seek."

Mu set the case of scrolls on the floor, and with a wave of his hand Sung Chiang raised both items up into the air. Guardians came then to claim them, and took them immediately to the chamber where Genruo was working.

"Your speed and dedication are without equal," Sung Chiang said. "I give you leave now to travel to the other worlds, as you see fit, and assist my remaining minions in their tasks."

"I shall, master," Mu said. "I will depart at once."

No sooner had Mu departed again, but the late Sho's cricket (who had been perched upon Sung Chiang's shoulder the entire time) chirped up in protest:

"Master! Do you not believe my report? I have just told you that it was Mu who murdered the servant you sent me with! It was Mu who abandoned the world he himself was assigned to, tracked down Sho, killed him in cold blood and assumed the World of Light assignment as his own!"

"Indeed," Sung Chiang said. "It is from the fount of my divine talent that his skill flows. Two of my many talents are betrayal and murder. So long as I continue retrieving the pieces of prophecy I require, I care not for the fate or safety of mere minions. Let Mu, if he is the better assassin, prevail... for now."


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